My faculty pool may have lost the Powerball and I’m barely hanging on in my bracket, but I just won a more exciting lottery. I was able to successfully sign up for an April 6 Meet Pete event in Concord, NH. I knew that the candidate was becoming popular when the event closed right after I signed up for it.
For those who do not know, Pete Buttigieg is the 37 year old two term Mayor of South Bend, IN. A post industrial Midwestern city of just over 100,000 people which has seen a turnaround thanks to his leadership. He is also a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, a Rhodes Scholar, fluent in at least five languages (including Norwegian) and an openly gay, openly Christian husband and dog parent.
Pete is a solid progressive on all our big litmus tests. For a pathway to Medicare for All, for the Green New Deal, for an economy centered around working people instead of the wealthy.
So far, so good, so what? I think the biggest difference between Pete and the other candidates is that he is a progressive who recognizes Democrats have a bit of a hamburger problem and need to think outside the bun to win. One way he does that is by reclaiming faith, family, and freedom as progressive values.
What I like about Pete is that he is wonky and empathetic. That he has won two elections in a pretty conservative part of the country. That he has executive experience and military experience. That he speaks other languages and shows a curiosity about the world and foreign policy our President, and increasingly our party, do not always demonstrate.
I am very excited to Meet Pete. I am not quite ready to vote for him though. I want him to answer these questions first:
1) Why should we nominate another white male?
2) Can an openly gay candidate win a general election for president?
3) How can we be sure you wont be rolled by McConnell?
4) How do you go from governing South Bend to governing America?
5) Why you and not a bigger progressive name like Warren, Sanders, or Harris?
What questions would you like me to ask him?